2011-07-22 / Top Stories

Thief Attempts To Flee Country

By Nicholas Briano

A Far Rockaway home health aide accused of stealing more than $100,000 in rare coins from her 82- year-old patient was arrested last week at JFK Airport after attempting to flee the country prior to the beginning of her trial, according to Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice.

Sonia Walsh, 44, was arrested last Wednesday and pleaded guilty to grand larceny charges of stealing $130,000 worth of coins from the victim’s Long Island home while she was in her care. The plea will result in a prison sentence of up to five years when she is sentenced on September 1. Walsh had been freed on $20,000 when the judge decided her case should go to trial. That’s when Walsh purchased a one-way ticket to her native Jamaica. She was removed from the airplane by airline personnel and arrested by detectives from the Nassau County Police Department’s Fugitive Squad.

According to District Attorney Rice, beginning on July 24, 2009, Walsh was employed as a home health aide in North Hills for the woman who had sustained a broken leg and arm from a fall. When the victim’s son attempted to sell his mother’s coin collection, it was discovered that the coins were missing. Video surveillance confirmed that Walsh had stolen the coins while employed in the home.

“This defendant tried to run from the consequences of her crime against a senior citizen, but she could not escape the long arm of Nassau County law enforcement,” Rice said.

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